I am on to a new adventure in my life, a new job! It has been a whirlwind since I applied for the job about a month ago, mainly because the office is about an hour from my home through Tampa traffic. I am doing training now, but when I "graduate" the first week in April, I will be able to work from home, I can't wait. The worse part of this training is how much I miss my puppies and my KITCHEN! Luckily, a couple of weeks ago, it was so cold in Florida, the only thing I wanted to do was stay inside and cook. So, in the freezer are some lasagnas, chicken cordon bleus, meatballs, egg rolls and some soups and stews. All I have to do is take them out the night before, let them thaw in the fridge, and then the first one home, just has to pop them in the oven. Yesterday, my training was in the afternoon, so I had the morning to play in the kitchen. I wanted to make one of my all time favorite comfort foods, Chicken Marsala! It is so easy, so yummy and so much better when it sits in the fridge for a couple of hours.
First thing I have to say, I GAINED 5 POUNDS JUST MAKING THIS CHEESECAKE!!!! I must admit, it was worth it and along the way, I discovered a new and very healthy snack, very high in antioxidant. I'll tell you about that in just a minute, but first the Cheesecake, incredible.
Last weekend was one of my dear friend's birthday, great reason for a party! What better theme for a 40th Birthday Party than Mardi Gras, sorry, I cannot do all the black over the hill stuff! I like things bright, fun and cheery, just like me. But here was my problem, the friend I was having the birthday party for is the one who always decorates for my parties, she does an incredible job! Our "partnership" always works out perfect, she decorates, I cook, she stays out of the kitchen, and I stay out of her table scapes! We have had some great parties together, but for this one I was on my own. I did enlist the help of my daughter and son in law, but they could not come till the afternoon of the party and I am way too impatient to wait that long to decorate. So I did all I could before they came and then let Brie use her artistist touch to make everything look better while I finished in the kitchen.
Valentine's Day is less than 2 weeks away, what a great theme for our Afternoon Tea today at Rolling Pin! We had a full class today, 18 wonderful students ready to have some fun! I began the day by preparing Cherry and Pistachio Scones. I love these scones probably because I love maraschino cherries and pistachios! These scones are so easy to prepare, especially when I used a silicone mat to line my rolling surface and a silicone mat to line my baking sheet. I combined the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl. Using a pastry cutter, I cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembled coarse crumbs. I squeezed the chopped cherries in a paper towel to get them as dry as possible, and then stirred them into the dry ingredients along with the chopped pistachios. I measured my milk into a 1 cup measuring cup, then whisked in the egg yolk. I lightly floured the silicone mat I had ready on the counter and dumped the dry ingredients onto it. I made a well in the middle and poured in half the milk mixture. Using a bench scraper, I incorporated the liquid then made another well and add the rest of the milk. I continued using the bench scraper until the dry ingredients were moistened. Then I gently kneaded the dough several times. I divided the dough in half and placed them on my silicone lined baking sheet. I patted each half into a 6 inch round and using the bench scraper again, cut each round into 6 wedges, not separating them. Barb, one of the wonderful Rolling Pin assistants brushed the scones with the egg whites and popped them in the oven.